June Update

Bob Mercer goes to glory April 14,2024

Above: My dad’s sister Katie sharing special memories at his celebration service.

When I think of my dad’s passing from life ‘below’ to life ‘above’, I have peace and joy because of our living hope in Jesus Christ. I am also thankful that my dad lived a full and faithful life that equipped his three sons to be responsible men, each having put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I am thankful that my mom and my brothers were able to surround him at his bedside in his own home the moment he passed away in peace. God has given so many gifts of mercy and grace in these last days we have had with my dad here ‘below’, and I know that there awaits ‘above’ rejoicing when we are reunited in the presence of our Savior.

Yes, there is groaning here, and sadness here and my mom is repeating, “it’s just too soon.” Death is a terrible reality that has terrorized and burdened all of us who have lived in this fallen world and seen both young and old pass away “just too soon”. But we are comforted and full of expectation of what awaits after death because of the provisions and preparations Jesus has made for those who trust in Him. Jesus, the good and mighty shepherd, has laid down his life for His sheep. He has taken the terrible sting of death upon himself and risen in victory to save us and bring us to glory!


One beautiful outcome of my dad’s passing has been a spiritual openness in my mom that is greater than ever before. The terrible reality of death, the reality of a lack of ultimate control, the reality of no longer having my dad to be at her side has pushed her to openly consider the possibility of God’s existence and God’s plan to restore us through His Son Jesus. After my dad’s passing I was able to go through 20 lessons from the Bible seeking to give my mom an overview of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Each night we would read a passage together and discuss what impact these truths had on our lives. My mom has yet to make a decision, but she has shared that she is thinking more about these things than ever before. I would ask you to pray for my mom (Su) to turn to Jesus for redemption and come to know God as her father through Christ. She is experiencing a sense of emptiness and lack of purpose as she grieves the loss of her husband of 56 years. And in seeking to care for her in the best possible way, we have moved my mom to my brother Bob’s house which introduces even more change in her life. Please pray that in this valley of pain and difficulty that she may find Jesus who has been calling her to Himself.

Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.


Above: A short film of memories from my dad's life.

Two different experiences

Just a day after returning to Hungary, Sharon, Ziva and I attended Ziva's teacher's funeral in a neighboring village where Ziva attends middle school. Her teacher was very respected and this was a great loss to Ziva and those in the community. There was such a contrast to what I had just experienced at my dad's celebration service. At home there was proclamation from so many of the living hope we have in Jesus Christ. Here, there seemed to be lots of ritual and not much overflow of hope.


As you can imagine, this has been a lot for Ziva as her grandpa and her teacher has passed away. There have also been ongoing issues at her middle school that have been challenging for her and we've been going to God in prayer for direction as to what can be done to provide the best environment for Ziva to thrive. We ask that you pray with us.

Adilene settling in to life in Hungary


Our new teammate Adilene has been adjusting to her new surroundings in Petofibánya, setting up her apartment, beginning formal language training and getting to know members of the local church. Adilene has been able to visit our teammate Roger's middle school Bible class (pictured above) and already connect with kids that most likely will be attending various camps we'll be holding over the summer. We praise God for the addition of Adilene to our team and for being encouraged by her faith journey and by the way she seeks to serve Jesus together with us in this season.

Children's Day Festivals


Last weekend, with members of our church, we volunteered in two Children's Day Festivals in our hometown of Petofibánya and a town we've done outreach over the years, Jászfényszaru.


This is a great way to interact with our community and reconnect with kids and parents that have attended our summer camps.



Above: We are always thankful to see our kids beginning to take part in serving with us. Above you can see Heidi talking with church member Sanyi and her daughter Emi helping with face painting.




Above: Brothers Barni and Zsombi, who were saved through our children's ministry now older and helping with the crate tower climbing challenge.




Above: Good to reconnect with church members I haven't seen for some time since I had been in the US. These brothers are those that fled the war in Ukraine and ended up in our small village in the middle of nowhere. Praise God that Sanyi (left) has found a steady job at a local factory which is an answer to prayer.

Petofibánya Youth Group
Above: Hungarian teammates Miki and Erika were kind enough to have the youth group meeting in their home. We expect this group to continue to grow over the summer as kids are finishing out school. Many of the older teens volunteer as helpers in our VBS camps.



Above: Ziva who will be 13 in November has also begun attending. This week was special as her big sister Ellie is back with us for the summer and would be sharing this night about the importance of choosing life in Christ and not being deceived with the ways of the world that lead to death. In just a few more weeks, Kira will also be finishing up her semester at BFA and joining us for the summer! We're excited to have the family back together.

Prayer requests


Above: Allen, Su, Bob and Sam. Please pray for my mom to understand her need to put her faith in Jesus and know the love of the Father. Pray for my brother Bob and wife Becky as my mom has moved in with them and they take on new roles as caretakers along with their other responsibilities in life.

Because of my extended stay in the US, much of the planning and preparation for our VBS camps had been put on hold and I have a lot of catch up to do. We already have 77 registered for our first VBS and 85 for our second. The majority of these kids are unchurched and not from homes with believing parents or relatives. Please pray that everything comes together to bring glory to God and is used by God to proclaim the good news of Jesus as Lord and Savior to a new generation of Hungarians.

We are also in the process of renewing our residency permits. Over the years, we've applied under a certain status, but that status has recently been removed from the options we have to choose from. Please pray that God would help in the process of applying for a new type of residency permit.

Thank all of you for your prayers and ways of sending encouragement when I was back in the US because of my dad's health issues. I appreciate your standing with our family and am thankful for your compassion in Christ.


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